Want to know what the biggest fear of being recovered from an eating disorder is? The shape of one’s body when they are recovered. They desperately want to know, “What does recovery look like?” The reality is we don’t know for each person. But what we can absolutely talk about is what recovery looks like in another way.
Recovery looks like:
- Self-respect: you will be able to defend yourself from the images put out by the media about what beautiful and healthy “should” look like. You won’t have to fit into a one-size-fits-all belief system anymore. The same way you would help defend a loved one from a bully, you will be able to do for yourself.
- Responsibility: you will be to manage the tasks of life, from taking care of your basic needs to pursuing your wildest dreams. You may have the eating disorder thoughts and drives, but you choose not to engage them as you have a higher purpose and responsibility to care for yourself and those you love and care for.
- Empowered: You will be able to speak for yourself, be assertive without being confrontational, and forgo passive acceptance that life will always mean engaging in eating disorder thoughts and behaviors.
- Supported: you will bring in every tool you learned about in recovery, including people, places, and things, and use them purposefully to keep you healthy.
- Integrating a full life: A full life will be attainable and consist of elements like physical health, emotional health, spiritual health, work, school, friends, family, personal development, joy and adventure.
- Hope: While there may be setbacks and lapses from time to time, you will hold onto hope that this is a blip, a bump in the road, and you’ll get right back to healthy and happy in short order.
If you want to get there, you have to put in the work. But this looks worth it to me.
By Andrew Walen, LCSW-C - Founder, Executive Director, Psychotherapist at The Body Image Therapy Center. If you would like to get in touch with Andrew please call 877-674-2843 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.